Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Comic Digital Archive: The Robo Machines

PUBLISHER: IPC/FLEETWAY (1984-1985)
WRITER: TOM TULLY
ARTISTS: MARIO CAPALDI, KIM RAYMOND, GEOFF SENIOR

As anyone who's a long-term reader will know this has long been my little pet love. The Robo Machines comic ran for two arcs in the 1980s version of Eagle and remained pretty obscure until only a few years ago. I certainly hadn't found much information until I hunted down the old issues and found it to be not all that bad at all and scanned it to inflict on other people. Since then someone's done better scans, which is all good. What would be lovely would be a proper TPB reprint as the original comics were on newsprint but sadly with a fragmented rights situation  - the Gobots trademarks co-opted for Robo Machine are possessed by Hasbro, the likenesses for the Robo Machines by Bandai and the actual comics by IPC/Fleetway - this seems unlikely. While the latter have shown a willingness to work with fans on reprints, such as for Doomlord and Leopard of Lime Street, the involvement of two rival toy giants would be a stumbling block.

 It's all a shame as the comic itself is rather good, written by Tom Tully with a grittier feel than the Transformers material of the period; an early episode involves the destruction of a small English village by the Renegade Robo Machines while by the end of it at least four of the Security Forces Robo Machines have been killed off, often quite brutally. The serial suffered a little from growing pains such as in-running format changes to bring it more in line with the Robo Machine toyline and was clearly curtailed unexpectedly while original artist Mario Capaldi was a poor fit, being replaced by the much more suited Kim Raymond (and, on a one-episode fill-in I'd never actually noticed until today, Geoff "The Geoff Senior" Senior) but overall remains very enjoyable and even in this compromised form is by far the most successful Gobots/Machine Robo media.

This archive collects the best scans into one file, rounded out with appendix files covering the reuse of Cy-Kill's character model in Dan Dare and a few contemporary British adverts. Archives of the strips split into their original two arcs are available from the Old Oilhouse.

1 comment:

  1. Is there any other way to view these? Because downloading the files don't seem to work for me.

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